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The Roar


Dimma the Sun: Gold Coast unveil triple-premiership Tiger as new coach

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20th August, 2023
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The AFL’s worst-kept secret has been officially confirmed, with Gold Coast announcing Damien Hardwick as its new coach, according to reports.

The three-time premiership coach has been the hot favourite to land the job since predecessor Stuart Dew was sacked after Round 17, with rumours rife and Suns CEO Mark Evans reportedly visiting him during a Europe holiday to pitch the coaching job at the Suns.

Hardwick has signed a six-year contract to become the Suns’ fourth full time coach, following Guy McKenna, Rodney Eade and Dew.

“I firmly believe this is the beginning of an incredible journey with a club and a community that has a burning desire to succeed,” Hardwick said in a statement.

“The Gold Coast deserves a successful team it can be proud of and it’s now my job to deliver that.

“I can see the tremendous potential we have in front of us but understand it will take hard work from here to reach our goals.

“The foundations are in place for us to build this club into a contender for years to come and this is a challenge I am extremely excited to take on.”


The 51-year old, who attended the final game of Tigers legends Jack Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin on Saturday, resigned as Richmond coach in May following a one-point loss to Essendon, citing burnout.

Damien Hardwick. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

However, speculation has circulated ever since that the 2017, 2019 and 2020 premiership coach would return to the fold at another club as soon as 2023, with the Suns a key candidate even before Dew was shown the door.

The Suns sit 15th on the ladder with nine wins for the season, with the best record in their 13-year history a 10-win, 12th-placed finish in 2022.

Hardwick’s arrival is touted as the club’s most significant ever appointment, with footy analyst David King claiming the Suns ‘will win a flag in his first four years’ and could become a ‘destination club’.

Already Tigers great Dustin Martin has been linked to a shift to the Suns to finish his career alongside Hardwick.